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Do You Know Your Self-assigned Self-worth?
Most of us would say we do. We believe we know our self-worth and we often demand to be treated, paid, or acknowledged in accordance.
The problem with tallying up our worth this way is that it’s mostly associated with conflicts, with the value people have assigned to us. We don’t agree with their assigned value so we defend ourselves. These matters make up our associative worth, or the value we collect by associating with others.
Our self-worth is based on our constant worth or the ‘maximum best’ we allow ourselves to ever feel.
So, how do we specifically identify what we believe our constant worth, or self-worth, to be? It’s shown by how we prioritize others.
For example, Someone at work complains about not getting a holiday off for the third year in a row. They want to go to HR. You find them ridiculous and annoying. You believe they should keep their mouth shut and accept that the employer makes the schedules, fair or not. You’re lucky to have a job. Until you own a company you need to do what you’re told and not complain.
This thought process is based in a constant self-worth pattern.
Ideally, spending holidays with family or in other personal ways would be a happy and welcomed choice. Making choices about the things we love and honor without interference improves our quality of life, our inner peace, and our overall happiness. Employers can sometimes interfere with our ability to be fully autonomous beings in pursuit of our own happiness. You’re allowed to both acknowledge that and be upset by it.
We convince ourselves that we must surrender some autonomy in pursuit of our happiness in order to attain survival.
Jobs are required to access survival needs. We believe if a sacrifice needs to be made, like time with family, it’s in the interest of meeting survival needs.
Instead of prioritizing our happiness and the pursuit of our ideal life, we shame ourselves into hiding from it. We convince ourselves that our desire is frivolous, unimportant, small, or something negative. People would judge us harshly, therefore, before we give them a chance to, we judge ourselves harshly. Before we give our employer the opportunity to deny us our desire, we hold it back and tell ourselves it’s not even worth the pursuit.
Holding this belief about yourself and needs leads to judging others harshly for how they respond.
If your coworker speaks up, goes to HR, and ultimately gets their time off, you may even see them as a problem. They complained, went above management, and got their way. But, why not be happy for them? They were able to continue meeting their survival needs and not lose their job. Plus continue pursuing their happiness, prioritizing the thing that makes them feel fulfilled.
Shaming someone for prioritizing what makes them happy, reinforces the idea that we’re not worth our own happiness.
How to Uncover Your True Worth
So how can you discover where you’ve placed your happiness on the priority scale? What self-worth have you assigned to yourself?
- Pay attention to the pursuits of others that you consider to be frivolous or unnecessary and ask yourself why.
- Acknowledge when you’re forcing yourself toward a conclusion (“If I ask for time off, I’ll lose my job.”)
- When you’re faced with a choice, ask yourself which outcome makes you feel happier.
- Identify criticisms you make either of yourself or others.
- Pay attention to how often you fill the narrative for others.
When you pay attention to these micro-moments, you discover more negative thoughts, more shameful thoughts. Many of us have been conditioned to believe happiness is not possible without ultimate, obvious, and unmatched sacrifice. We believe that the greater the sacrifice, the greater the happiness but that’s not true.
Life happens moment by moment. We’re not in a dress rehearsal. Life is happening while we’re waiting to accomplish our goals and reach our dreams and build our realities.
If we don’t pursue happiness at each stage, in the end, what will our lives have been filled with?